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National Apple Harvest Festival

Dawn L. Bodenberg

(9/1) Biglerville—Apple Capital USA, PA . . . Apples have proven tempting since Biblical times, one bite isn’t forbidden . . . it’s heavenly! Adams County, Pennsylvania, is the Number One Apple Producing County in Pennsylvania. And, each year during National Apple Month the Upper Adams County community celebrates the apple harvest season with an apple festival. What says Autumn better than an apple festival?

The 52nd National Apple Harvest Festival is held the first two full weekends in October—1st and 2nd and 8th and 9th--from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. each day. The outdoor event is held rain or shine at the South Mountain Fairgrounds, Biglerville, Pennsylvania, ten miles west of historic Gettysburg, Pennsylvania.

How Do I Get There? The National Apple Harvest Festival is located in scenic upper Adams County in South Central Pennsylvania. A drive along roadways meandering through farmland and apple orchards will get one to the South Mountain Fairgrounds—GPS use 615 Narrows Road (Route 234), Biglerville, PA 17307. It’s just a gas tank trip from and back to Washington, DC, Baltimore, Maryland, Philadelphia or Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

What’s in it for You? The family-oriented gala is loaded with entertainment and activities for all ages. Over 300 Arts and Crafts vendors, antique and classic cars with a favorite voted on each day, antique farm equipment, antique gas engines, a gallery with apple memorabilia which seems to quench attendees’ thirst for nostalgia, souvenirs, a photo contest, pony rides, puppet shows, apple art, Scarecrows R Us, Kid Country Barn, a petting zoo, and strolling characters—Mr. Apple, Miss Honey Bee, Miss Apple Worm, and Johnny Appleseed.

Demonstrations include: Apple butter being made over an open fire, apple sauce and apple syrup making powered by an antique steam engine, a vintage apple peeler, an antique apple cider press—did you know it takes 36 apples to make one gallon of apple cider, chainsaw carving, Van Wagner’s Tall Timber Lumber Heritage, Native American Dancers, and an antique working shingle mill powered by an antique steam engine, among others.

Apple-tizing Treats! Apples are the shining stars of this Fall fest, in an assortment of appealing forms of the flavorful fruit itself! There’s mouth-watering apple pie, of course, among other apple desserts. Prepare the taste buds for fresh Adams County apples, candied and caramel apples, apple cider slushies, warm apple sauce, hot apple butter, and apple ice cream. There’s an apple pie-eating contest, an apple pie baking contest, and a chance to meet Emma Britton, New Oxford, Pennsylvania Apple Queen and her court.

Tasty Foods Abound! Enjoy some finger-lickin’ BBQ chicken or what about open pit beef or pulled pork or ribeye steak sandwiches? Munch kettle or caramel corn, funnel cakes or fresh dipped ice cream as a foot taps to bluegrass or rock ‘n roll music.

Eight Stages of Entertainment! Bluegrass Hollow Stage, Cortland Circle, Rockin’ Apple Stage, Appleseed Stage, Cider Barrel Stage, Apple Auditorium, Puppet Theatre, and at the Petting Zoo.

Admission Prices . . . General - $10, Seniors 60+ and Military with ID - $9, and Children under 12 are Free. Tickets are now on sale! Get more festival time by skipping the line by visiting Admission includes parking, shuttle services, and all the attractions and exhibits. Please keep Fido at home as all pets—both large and small--are not allowed on festival grounds.

Where Does the Admission Money Go? This flavorful fundraiser is one into which everybody can sink their teeth! All proceeds, with the exception of 11 percent kept in reserve for emergencies and start-up for the next year’s festival, go back to the community and other local, state and national charitable organizations with most of the money staying local.

Forty-nine percent goes toward funding the 92-acre Oakside Community Park founded in 1975 by The Upper Adams Jaycees. The park is open to the public annually from April to November and is located at 2880 Table Rock Road (Route 394 East), Biglerville, Pennsylvania.

The Upper Adams Jaycees, sponsor of the National Apple Harvest Festival, use 20 percent of the proceeds to fund their many community projects such as the Easter Egg Hunt, Movie Nights in the Park, food boxes and gifts to the less fortunate families at Christmas, Special Olympics volleyball, a Fish Rodeo, and donations to organizations.

The remaining 20 percent is donated to civic, school, church, scouting organizations, fire companies, and others.

For additional information, visit, call 717-677-9413 or email

Good to Know! Roadways and walkways are comprised of stone and or gravel, grass or pavement depending on location throughout the fairgrounds and parking fields.

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